Officine Panerai launches Mare Nostrum Titanio - 52mm
June 26, 2015: Ancient Romans, following their conquest of Egypt and Spain, named the Mediterranean Sea “Mare Nostrum” (“Our Sea”) since they controlled the greater part of its coastline. And then, many centuries later – between 1941 and 1942 – there was a short period when Italy spoke again of “Mare Nostrum”, when, during the Second World War, the victorious missions of the Royal Italian Navy meant that for a short time a wide area of the Mediterranean Sea was controlled by the Italian fleet.
It was during this second period that the Panerai family in 1943 named the chronograph created for the deck officers of the Royal Italian Navy “Mare Nostrum”. This name had already been used by Guido Panerai in 1924 for what was probably the first Panerai chronograph, but all traces of this first model have been lost. However a few prototypes of the 1943 chronograph still exist, and these have enabled the new watch to be reconstructed with great technical accuracy and similar aesthetic characteristics. The new Mare Nostrum Titanio is a Special Edition consisting of only 150 units. It faithfully reproduces the 1943 model, updating it to the highest standards of today’s watchmaking and with some fundamental differences compared to the original.
The first difference compared to the vintage watch is the material. The metal used for this tonneau-shaped case is not steel but brushed titanium, which combines excellent non-allergenic properties and greater lightness than steel with the structural toughness needed to resist high pressure, external stresses and corrosion. The wide flat bezel, the screw back and the winding crown engraved with the words “Mare Nostrum” are all made of brushed titanium as well.
The chronograph functions are controlled by two classic push buttons, also made of brushed titanium, and the readings are indicated by the central seconds hand and by a subsidiary minutes counter dial at three o’clock. The continuous seconds hand rotates in a subsidiary dial at nine o’clock. Protected by a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment, the dial is made in two levels and, instead of the dark green of the vintage model, it is a sophisticated tobacco brown, which coordinates with the brown leather strap and its ecru stitching.
The new version of the Mare Nostrum has a hand-wound manufacture movement: the OP XXV calibre developed on a Minerva 13-22 base. It is 12¾ lignes in diameter and has a balance wheel making 18,000 vibrations per hour, like the Angelus movement of the vintage prototype. The bridges are made of Maillechort, a nickel silver alloy that is particularly hard to work, and they have a sophisticated Côtes de Genève finish.
The Mare Nostrum Titanio – 52mm is water-resistant to 3 bars (a depth of about 30 metres).